Post-Sweeps Syndication Ratings Down

With November sweeps completed and the holiday season ramping up, syndicated declined by approximately 1,896,000 households in the week ending Dec. 7 compared to the week before.

Buena Vista’s Live with Regis& Kelly was the only one of the 15 talk shows to post gains for the week, hitting a 3.9 rating, up 5% week-to-week and 18% year-to-year. Twelve talkers were down and two were flat. After having her biggest sweeps in five years, King World’s Oprah was down 13% on the week to 6.7. Dr. Phil, which also had a high-rated sweeps, slipped 5% to 5.3.

Nine of the top ten sitcoms held steady, although none were up year-to-year. Sony’s Seinfeld gained 14% from the week before to a 6.5, a new season high. Warner Bros.’ Friends was up 10% to 6.4. King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond climbed 7% to 5.9. Warner Bros.’ Will & Grace surged 15% to 3.9.

The top game shows turned in mixed performances. King World’s Wheel of Fortune, at 9.3, and Jeopardy!,at 7.6, were up 2% and 6% respectively. Buena Vista’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was unchanged at 3.6. King World’s Hollywood Squares slid 13% to 2.1. Sony’s Pyramid fell 5% to 2.0. And Tribune’s Family Feud dropped 17% to 1.9.

On the weekend, coverage of college football on ABC and CBS hurt some shows and helped others. Paramount’s ET Weekend was the number-one weekly hour despite being preempted in 21 markets, including three of the top five. It was down 21% to 3.1, but still up a full 72% over last year.

NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood Weekend took second place with a 35% increase to 2.7, up 29% from last year. NBC/MGM’s Stargate-SG1 in third place jumped 14% to 2.5, up 4% year to year. In eighth place, Twentieth’s rookie Angel was up 29% to 1.8.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.